Here our computers are our lifeline to the outside world. Television (if it works, and in my case doesn't) can give you some news about what is going on outside China, but generally only if it is bad news and they don't focus on it unless it puts China in a good light.
But the Internet connection is awful. When were returned after summer break there was a lot of drama as they had introduced a new system. We had been so easily able to get on to the Internet before - even though it then was slow and unreliable - but now we have to log in to the system. A rather irritating log in system - which often doesn't want to work.
Also we find from time to time that Internet Explorer doesn't like the system here, so we have to use Firefox. I had been having good results from IE and did not have to download Firefox. That is until last week.
There was a computer examination coming up when many students were on line at the same time to do their exams in the computer salons. (I haven't seen them yet.)
So it was real go slow. I tried to download Firefox but could not get enough strength to do that even. So I took my computer to the new Green Cafe where I could log on for free. Only for reasons we do not know, my computer refused to work there. Oh, it worked, but I could not log on. So it was back to the apartment to try again.
The following day, things were better and I downloaded Firefox. So now I can alternate between IE and Firefox. But all the foreign teachers are finding challenges with the Internet connection at the moment. I want to re book my return flight to Australia, but I can't get onto the site. In part I think that their site is undergoing maintenaince.
It is so frustrating. Annoying.
Even getting on to the Courier Mail has been impossible today. Grrrrrrr.